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Bali Spends $4.2 million on Irrigation

Bali Taking Steps to Preserve its Agricultural Heritage.

(4/20/2009) Jakarta Post reports that the provincial government of Bali will spend Rp. 46.9 billion (US$4.2 million) in an efforts to salvage and revitalize the island's remaining 2,345 subak traditional water management associations.

Under the scheme, each subak association will receive Rp. 20 million (US$1,800) to be spent on the revitalization and repair of water irrigation systems. According to Ida Bagus Sedhawa, head of the Bali Cultural Agency, "this financial assistance is expected to encourage local farmers to maintain its subak organization and to prevent farmers from selling their lands to outsiders."

Heavy development pressures for hotels and villas is causing Bali to lose an estimated 600 hectares of productive farmland each year.

Bali's subak system has a history spanning thousands of years and embraces both agricultural methods and matters of religious ritual.